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Reviewed by Kristie Ingerto for Readers' Favorite
"Poppy and the Stranger," written and illustrated by Eli Jay, is a children's book that takes the reader on an adventure that results in discovering the mystery of shadows. Poppy is a balloon and one night when he is floating along in the night he sees a stranger following him. Poppy panics and tries to escape; however, he continues to be followed. This continues until he goes into the dark woods. Each animal Poppy encounters does not see anyone following him and he is sent to see Lyndon the Bear, the leader of the woods. Lyndon explains to Poppy that the stranger is actually his stranger and sends him out to see for himself.
This is a cute story with soothing illustrations. Children will enjoy the colorful expressions and find the book easy to read as there are few words on each page; therefore, it is not overwhelming for children who may be attempting to read it themselves. This story is a good way to help children learn about shadows and relieve some fears that are associated with shadows and darkness. This book can also be used to help children identify and recognize various emotions as Poppy's face is drawn with many different emotions throughout the story. Children will be able to relate to Poppy and determine his various emotions based upon the story and their own personal experiences and how they display their emotions. This book will be a great resource for counselors working with young children.